After the Georgia Department of Public Health reported last week that this flu season is the most dangerous in years, the Muscogee County School District announced Tuesday extra precautions and guidelines for outbreak prevention.
The extra precautions MCSD noted in its news release are the Health Services Division collaborating with teachers, administrators and the Plant Services and Facilities divisions to wipe surfaces daily with antibacterial solution, send all children who present symptoms to on-site clinics and immediately notify parents of any reported illnesses.
MCSD encourages Columbus families to follow flu-fighting recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. They include annual flu vaccination, early treatment from medical professionals for those who get the flu, and preventive actions to slow the spread of the flu, such as:
▪ Wash your hands often with soap and water. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand rub.
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▪ Stay away from people who are sick.
▪ Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. Then put the tissue in the trash.
▪ Don’t touch your eyes, nose and mouth.
▪ Clean and disinfect surfaces or objects that might be contaminated with germs by wiping them down with a household disinfectant.
“If your child presents any flu-like symptoms such as a headache and/or stomachache, body aches, or fever, call a doctor,” MCSD lead nurse Jeananne Polhamus said in the news release. “Do not send them to school if you notice your child displaying any flu-like symptoms.”
MCSD’s Health Services Division partnered with the Columbus Health Department from October through January to conduct on-site clinics and provide the flu vaccine, according to the news release.
“The District recognizes the importance of the health and safety of our students and staff,” the news release says. “Our primary objective during this flu season is to prevent the spread of communicable diseases and remove as many health-related barriers to learning as possible. We encourage parents and employees to take extra precautions given the severity of the year’s flu season thus far.”
MCSD communications director Mercedes Parham told the Ledger-Enquirer in a phone interview Tuesday the district has had 31 confirmed cases of flu out of 55 reports of flu-like symptoms this school year.